No, this is no scam and no it’s not something that will work well for your blogs. However, if you run an e-mail newsletter (which is really what we at List Guy are all about), this is the perfect method for grabbing some good quality free content to distribute to your customers. You shouldn’t use this exclusively – there should be a mix of your own content along with this solution however this is a great way to add on material.
So what is this amazing deal I’ve got for you? It’s actually a very old kind of marketing angle which benefits both newsletter owners and website owners. It’s called article marketing.
No, Not Article Directory Marketing
Now I’m sure someone out there is rolling his or her eyes and muttering to themselves about the crap that passes for content on most article directories today. And you’d be right – 98% of the material on article directories is indeed crap. The reason is that for a number of years, people distorted the purpose of article directories. They started using a method commonly known as “bum marketing” where they would create junk versions of articles which they would spam every article directory on the planet with.
The idea at the time was to use article directories to get lots of links which would count as “votes” with Google for SEO purposes. Google’s engineers quickly cottoned to this idea and started ignoring those links though. However, the myth that such links are worth something still exists (probably because people have a vested interest in pushing it so they can sell spinning software).
Back to the Original Purpose of Article Directories
The original purpose of article directories was however vastly different. The original idea was to provide free content to newsletter owners in exchange for a link back to the site of the person who created the content. In essence, you get free content in exchange for providing free advertising to the person who took the time to create the content. You both win.
Finding that Content
Now as I said, the original purpose of article directories has largely been ignored. However, since the Panda update, most of these sites have started to clean up their acts or go out of business. This means that it is getting easier to find good, useful content on article directories. The best way to find such material is to search for the top rated and most viewed content on the directories within your own niche.
This isn’t a foolproof process of course – some people do still try to use automated software to artificially boost their rankings. However the better content directories (Ezine Articles for example) have been fighting back by deranking those whom they detect using such artificial means. In short, you simply find a useful piece of material and publish it together with the author bio in your newsletter. Sprinkle some of your own original content in as well and your readers will appreciate that you took the time to find them quality material to read even if it’s not exclusive to you. You’ll also appreciate that you didn’t have to spend upwards of $100 to have a quality article written to publish in your newsletter.